US 8135973 B2
A system and method for dynamically managing groups of power supplies for a computer system has a plurality of first circuits, each of the first circuits responsive to an electrical condition of each of the plurality of power sources. A second circuit is coupled to the plurality of first circuits, and is responsive to the plurality of first circuits. The second circuit identifies a state associated with any one of the plurality of power supplies. A third circuit is coupled and responsive to the second circuit. The third circuit communicates the states of the plurality of power supplies to a user.
1. A power management system comprising:
a plurality of modular power supplies;
a means for grouping the plurality of modular power supplies so that a first subgroup of the plurality of modular power supplies power a first subcomponent of a computer system, and a different second subgroup of the power supplies power a different second subcomponent of the computer system;
a monitor circuit operable to detect a respective electrical condition of the first and second subgroups of the plurality of modular power supplies, and to detect a respective electrical condition of the respective modular power supplies of the first and second subgroups of the plurality of modular power supplies.
2. The system of
3. The system of
4. The system of
5. A method comprising:
grouping a plurality of modular power supplies into a plurality of groups, at least one said group comprising at least two, but less than all, of the modular power supplies, wherein each said group provides power to a different system;
monitoring an electrical condition each of said modular power supplies and each of said groups; and
generating an alert concerning a state of the monitored electrical condition for a said group of the modular power supplies or a respective one of the modular power supplies that make up a said group.
6. The method of
7. The method of
This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/671,323, filed on Sep. 24, 2003, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,313,714.
The present invention is directed to a power management system for a computer system having a plurality of power sources. In particular the invention is directed towards dynamic alerts and identification of problems with individual power sources and groupings of power sources within the plurality of power sources.
Many typical “rack mount” computer systems rely on “hot” swappable power supplies. In particular these hot swappable power supplies are designed to be pulled out and replaced as the system is running. Further, in such rack mount systems, several modular power supplies may be grouped together to power an individual system or subsystem within the rack. Accordingly, should one or more of the modular power supplies fail, the full amount of power available to specific systems that are powered, either singly or as tied together in a group, is diminished. In some cases the indication of such a power problem is noticed only through the failure of the specific system due to lack of power. If the system is composed itself of several sub-systems or boards, a controller may selectively depower some of the sub-systems on boards based on available power in order to avoid a condition where more power is demanded than is available. Such strategies lead to inefficiencies in the operation of rack-mounted systems. In many applications, the depowered sub-systems on boards may be central to continued successful operation of an endeavor, and the inefficient operation of the system can lead to substantial problems in the endeavor that is being pursued.
A system and method for dynamically managing a plurality of power supplies for a computer system or similar powered equipment is envisioned. The power management system includes a plurality of first circuits, each of the first circuits responsive to an electrical condition of each of the plurality of power sources. A second circuit is coupled to the plurality of first circuits, and is responsive to the plurality of first circuits. The second circuit identifies a state associated with any one of the plurality of power sources. A third circuit is coupled and responsive to the second circuit. The third circuit communicates the states of the plurality of power source to a user or another device.
The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated into and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate one or more embodiments of the present invention and, together with the detailed description, serve to explain the principles and implementations of the invention.
In the drawings:
Embodiments of the present invention are described herein in the context of a system and method for dynamically managing a plurality of power supplies for a computer system is envisioned. Those of ordinary skill in the art will realize that the following detailed description of the present invention is illustrative only and is not intended to be in any way limiting. Other embodiments of the present invention will readily suggest themselves to such skilled persons having the benefit of this disclosure. Reference will now be made in detail to implementations of the present invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings. The same reference indicators will be used throughout the drawings and the following detailed description to refer to the same or like parts.
In the interest of clarity, not all of the routine features of the implementations described herein are shown and described. It will, of course, be appreciated that in the development of any such actual implementation, numerous implementation-specific decisions must be made in order to achieve the developer's specific goals, such as compliance with application- and business-related constraints, and that these specific goals will vary from one implementation to another and from one developer to another. Moreover, it will be appreciated that such a development effort might be complex and time-consuming, but would nevertheless be a routine undertaking of engineering for those of ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of this disclosure.
In accordance with the present invention, the components, process steps, and/or data structures may be implemented using various types of operating systems, computing platforms, computer programs, and/or general purpose machines. In addition, those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that devices of a less general purpose nature, such as hardwired devices, field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), or the like, may also be used without departing from the scope and spirit of the inventive concepts disclosed herein.
A monitor circuit 16 is coupled to the power supply unit 12 through a connection 18. Information regarding the current status and electrical parameters of each of the individual power supplies 14 a, 14 b, and 14 c is communicated to the monitor circuit 16 through the connection 18.
When the monitor circuit 16 detects a condition indicative of a problem with a particular power supply, the monitor circuit 16 generates an alert that is conveyed to an operator of the computer system. The alert can take place through the alert system circuit 20. An alert may be an electronically generated alert, including making an entry into a log, an e-mail alert, or sending or initiating a visual or audible alert to be displayed to an operator or any other conventioned type of alert.
In addition to monitoring parameters associated with each of the plurality of power supplies 14 a-c in the power supply unit 12, the monitor circuit 16 can be adapted to monitor the parameters associated with logical or physical groupings of any of the plurality of power supplies 14 a-c contained within the power supply unit 12.
In the system depicted in
For example, a first group 22 a comprising power supplies 14 a-c is used to power the computer equipment A. A second power group 22 b comprising of the power supply 22 h and the power supply 22 i power the computer equipment B. In a similar manner, the power group 22 c, comprising of the power supplies 14 j-1 is used to supply the electrical and/or power needs of the computer equipment C. Lastly, the power group 22 d comprising of the power supplies 14 d-g is used to supply the power and/or electrical needs of computer equipment D.
In addition to monitoring individual power supplies, the monitor circuit 16 may be used to monitor parameters associated with groups of power supplies in the power supply unit 12 a. If computer equipment D needs at least five power supplies to properly function the monitor circuit 16 contains sufficient capability to not only monitor the individual power supplies 14 d-g that make up the power group 22 d, but may also monitor the aggregates of the group 22 d that supply computer equipment D with its electrical power supply needs.
For example, if the power supply 14 d fails during the course of operation the monitor circuit 16 will recognize this event and generate an alert to the operator indicating that the power supply 14 d contained in the power group 22 d has failed. Monitor circuit 16 also contains sufficient capability to note that the failure may not be critical in that the computer equipment D will not fail at the present time operating with the current state of the power supplies 14 e-g. If the reduced available power to the equipment enters a danger zone, but is not so insufficient as to cause the equipment to fail, the system may send a specific alert to the operator reflecting that condition.
However, it at a later time, prior to the replacement of the power supply 14 d in the power group 22 d, power supply 14 e also fails then the monitor circuit 16 will at that point indicate in a generated alert that the power supply 14 e has failed. The monitor circuit 16 will also indicate that the power supply needs provided by power group 22 a to the computer equipment D has now dipped below a critical threshold necessary for the full operation of the computer equipment D. Thus, the monitor circuit 16 monitors not only the individual characteristics of each modular power supply, the monitor circuit 16 can also monitor the power characteristics of specific groups of power supplies.
In accordance with this embodiment the functionality of determining whether an alert is warranted is achieved through a two step process. First, in a first block 27, the system determines if the monitored characteristics or parameters of the power supply warrant an alert. If so, the system must then determine the level or type of alert.
If the system determines that an alert is warranted in the block 27, the system determines if the monitored characteristics or parameters of the power supply are in a range that will cause failure of the system in a block 29. If so, a first alert is sent in a block 32. If the system determines if the monitored characteristics or parameters of the power supply are sufficient to warrant an alert, but not so great as to threaten the operation of the system, another alert is sent in a block 33. It should be noted that the tests for the failure level or warning level depicted in the blocks 27 or 29 may also be implemented with any of the tests shown in the
In block 36, the system monitors the power characteristics of the specific groups, as well as the individual power characteristics of the power supplies that make up those groups. In block 38, the power management system has detected the conditions associated with an alert of some sort as applied either to a group or to an individual power supply within the group. These conditions may be that a power supply has completely failed, the characteristics of the group or an individual supply within the group have dropped below a predetermined threshold, or that the characteristics of the group or an individual supply within the group have dropped to a level some predetermined value from a threshold. In one embodiment, the monitor circuit may store values, and derive rates of change information from the stored values, or correlation values between different values. The monitor circuit can then generate alerts based not just upon instantaneous values, but upon changes in rates of change. Additionally, the monitor circuit can generate predictive alerts as well.
Upon an occurrence of the events depicted in the block 38, the power management system sends an alert to an operator in a block 40. The alert can indicate the specific power supply affected, and/or the group of which it is a member, as well as an indication of the characteristic or parameter that caused the alarm. Optionally, the system may perform some ameliorative act, such as reducing power supplied to various components, in an optional block 39.
The grouping or identification of the power supplies may be done either manually or electronically. In one embodiment, the power management system is provided with one or more signals relating to the status of the individual power supplies contained within the power supply units. A “Power Supply Present” (PSP) signal can be generated. This PSP signal relating to the presence (or absence) of a power supply within a specific slot in the power supply unit. Additionally, a “Power Supply Failure” (PSF) signal may be generated when a power supply is present in the power supply unit and has failed.
In one embodiment, the PSP and the PSF signals are relayed to the monitor circuitry. A user or operator may interact with a monitor circuitry to effectuate a logical grouping of the power supplies present. Accordingly, the grouping may be accomplished through the interaction of the user and the monitor circuitry 16. This may be accomplished through a conventional user interface.
Alternatively, the grouping may be accomplished through hard coded detection contained within the monitor circuitry 16. In this case, a specific line or lines determines the specific configuration of the power supplies grouped within the power supply unit.
In this particular embodiment, the monitor circuitry 16 is coupled to the power supply unit 12 b through the lines 42 a and 42 b which may be connected in any suitable manner known to those skilled in the art. The lines 42 a and 42 b, in this example, are RJ45 connections. One skilled in the art will notice that the RJ45-45 connection is not unique, and several different couplings may be used, and this disclosure should not be read to limit the coupling to an RJ45-line, or to a parallel interface. Accordingly, other signaling techniques may also include serial based signals, and may extend to more than the number of power supplies depicted in this example.
In the particular example, the signal present on the line 42 a is denoted as:
In this manner, the designation (11) with respect to the signal on line 42 a denotes that the signal is related to or associated with the first manually grouped subgroup in the power management unit. The power supplies associated with the signals (PaFa)(PbFb)(PcFc) in the signal present on the line 42 a can refer to the first three supplies contained in the power supply unit. This hardwire grouping may also be used to identify the power supplies to the monitor circuit, and different groupings may be undertaken at the monitor circuit itself.
Correspondingly, the (00) with request to the signal present on the line 42 b denotes that the signal is related to or associated with the second manually grouped subgroup in the power management unit. The power supplies associated with the signals (PdFd)(PeFe)(PfFf) in the signal present on the line 42 b can refer to the second three supplies contained in the power supply unit. As before, this may also be used to identify the power supplies to the monitor circuit, and different groupings may be undertaken at the monitor circuit itself.
Of course, a secondary grouping may take place at the monitoring circuitry. In this manner, signals emanating and identified from different lines may be logically grouped together apart from any grouping implicit or explicit in any differentiation in the lines.
As noted before, this embodiment utilizes RJ-45 lines. As also noted many different embodiments using different types of lines may be used. Further, the signaling may be implemented with the transfer of power supply signals and other notations in a serial fashion as well as in parallel.
Further, the specific notations or order of the signals may also differ. It should also be noted that the binary indications on the lines might also differ. In this implementation, the trailing binary signals of (11) and (00) designate the specific group that the particular line is indicative of, or identify the specific identification of the various signals present on the specific coupling line.
In this particular embodiment, the monitor circuitry 16 is coupled to the power supply unit 12 b through the lines 42 a, 42 b, and 42 c. The lines 42 a, 42 b, and 42 c, in this example, are RJ-45 connections.
In the embodiment depicted in
A Power Supply Failure (PS_FAIL) signal is generated by the measurement indicated in
On the monitor side, the circuits present as indicated in box 46 and 48 can be used to detect the generated PS_FAIL or the PS_PSNT signals, respectively, on the coupling. In this manner, a manual grouping of the supplies may be performed by internal wiring of the system. Note, in this embodiment, the grouping of the (PnFn) is indicative of an invalid state. This is since the power supply cannot both not present and valid at the same time using this signal generation technique. Accordingly, the signal (11) cannot be generated for the ultimate test signals PSP and PSF for a power supply in
Thus, a system and method for dynamically managing a plurality of power supplies for a computer system has been described and illustrated. Those skilled in the art will recognize that many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible without departing from the invention. Of course, the various features depicted in each of the figures and the accompanying text may be combined together. Accordingly, it should be clearly understood that the present invention is not intended to be limited by the particular features specifically described and illustrated in the drawings, but the concept of the present invention is to be measured by the scope of the appended claims. It should be understood that various changes, substitutions, and alterations could be made hereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as described by the appended claims that follow.
While embodiments and applications of this invention have been shown and described, it would be apparent to those skilled in the art having the benefit of this disclosure that many more modifications than mentioned above are possible without departing from the inventive concepts herein. The invention, therefore, is not to be restricted except in the spirit of the appended claims.